Chinese Cabbage Soup

This photo of Chinese cabbage soup (by avlxyz) really caught my attention.

Chinese cabbage soup

This soup looks to be made of delicious pork chunks and Chinese cabbage (known as Baicai in Chinese) leaves. I can almost taste it! Chinese cabbage appears in many Chinese soups (and noodle soup) and for some reason it works extremely well. It tastes wonderful and is great for your health.

One of the things that really struck me when I moved to China was that most Chinese food is not only delicious, it’s also quite healthy, with fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables, etc. We should have more of this sort of food in the West, as the diet of the average Westerner has slowly declined into something not so healthy!

I do know of a really good cabbage soup diet – the cabbage soup in the photo is a little different from the diet cabbage soup, but I think that this one of the reasons that most Chinese people are so slim. I’m sure there are other factors in play, but diet is probably the single most important factor.

Beijing Mantou and Baozi Stall

poeloq posted a couple of photos of a small restaurant / food stall:

IMG_5123  IMG_5129

It looks like this small restaurant / food stall is serving steamed mantou (steamed buns) or baozi (steamed buns with a filling inside). You can see the stack of bamboo steamers in the picture. There’s a chance that it’s actually steamed jiaozi (dumplings), but it’s much more likely to be mantou / baozi.

For more information on mantou, check out Wikipedia’s entry on the subject.

Anyway, I really like these photos because they capture the subject well. There are thousands of small food stalls like this in Beijing and in other cities across China and they look just like this. Also, I’m a sucker for black and white photos!

Burger King In Beijing

China does have has Burger King stores (or Hungry Jacks as it’s called in Australia – but that’s another story).

Burger King is nowhere near as popular as McDonalds or KFC, which is the clear number 1 in the Chinese fast food market, but most of the major international fast food chains are present in China to some extent.

I’m a bit worried about the increase in obesity in China. There are a lot more overweight children in China now than when I first arrived in 2002. It’s a worrying trend.

Why is it happening? I’m pretty sure it’s related to the increase in Western dietary habits in China, ie fast food restaurants and snack food. There’ll be other reasons involved as well, but this will be the main reason. They should get Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me translated into Chinese.

Anyway, as an expat, I eat at fast food stores more often than I would at home, simply because it reminds me of home. It’s still not very often – maybe once or twice a month. I prefer Chinese food most of the time!

Liptons Tea In China

Liptons Tea is widely available in China these days. I used to drink it a lot when I lived in China.

DSCN3840 photo by myuibe

They have the full range of different Liptons tea products. That’s the Lemon flavoured one in the photo above. I preferred the straight green tea option. You can get black tea too (although note that the Chinese call it Red Tea, because of the colour when you add water).

I also took a liking to Liptons Milk Tea instant tea powder, although it’s strange to see it packaged like that – it’s basically a mix of tea, sugar and whitener so you have milk tea ready to go.

As for it being Liptons, well you can get almost all the major Western brands in China these days, especially in the bigger cities. Lays chips, Snickers Bar, Pantene Shampoo, anything by Nestle, you name it. That’s just the start. The big companies have moved into China in a big way in the last 5 years.

Pantao Chinese Flat Peach

Here is a picture of some Chinese flat peaches, also called pantao, which are absolutely delicious. I’ve only ever seen them in China.

蟠桃 pántáo - 3元 / 2斤 photo by img_edv

They look like you took a normal peach and squashed the top and bottom points in to a third of the size of a normal peach, with the rest being pushed out to the sides. They taste like a normal peach, only a little sweeter.

I’ve found that fruit often tastes better in China. I think this is because a lot of the fruit is grown locally and is therefore fresher. Or maybe because the supermarkets care less about the fruit looking great than they do in the West and more about the taste.

After searching the Internet about this, I found a site with lots of information on the pantao. They agree with me that it’s delicious:

A peach that is juicy and sweet—many say the best tasting of all peaches—and creamy with a pit that does not cling wrapped in a nearly fuzzless skin: I want that peach!

They also point out that they are also known as the Donut peach. Whatever you call them, pantao are fantastic!

The price is worth noting: 3 yuan for 2 jin (1kg). That’s an amazing price.

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China’s Dragon Boat Festival Holiday

This is another post I wrote a little while ago and haven’t posted until now.

China’s Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu) occurs on 5th May on the Lunar calendar. This equates to the following dates on the Western calendar:

  • 2012 date: 23 June
  • 2013 date: 12 June

As the name of the Festival indicates, it’s famous for Dragon Boat racing! People also eat zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) and drink baijiu (Chinese wine) during this holiday. Continue reading